up and down and back again.

It's morning, and I having what has become my morning espresso ritual. We have an espresso machine here at the house, and not just because we have almost every other kitchen appliance available. (We don't have a pasta maker, but it turns out there's an attachment available for the KitchenAid mixer.)

I've become a bit of a food-and-drink snob since coming to California, which is fine: I just view it as learning how to live well. Single-malt scotch, homemade ice cream, fantastic sushi and Indian food. I'm pretty OK with it, really.

Yesterday was a bit of a day: Google was supposed to call me at 11am but didn't, so I called and it turned out HR had not changed the 2pm appointment on the tech guy's calendar. I did eventually get the call, though, but first my cell phone was useless, and then the land line crapped out somehow, and it was stressful anyway because they were asking me stupid questions that I had a hard time finding the answer for ("What's the fastest way to count the number of 1 bits in a 32-bit integer?" Make a lookup table, of course. With 4,294,967,296 entries. Mapping each number to the integer count of its 1 bits. WTF). So I don't think it went well, and I'm expecting to hear next week that they don't want me. They're a strange company from the hiring end, I think.

However, I got the 3-month contract job, so I don't really care. I get to go to Sunnyvale every day, but I don't really care about that either.*grin*

However, this morning news came to me that someone at Inktomi wants to talk to me, badly enough to expedite the whole interviewing process before I start the contract. I'm not thrilled about backing out, but for (what should be) more money, and benefits, and a permanent job, it doesn't make sense to me not to at least check it out. Due to references from friends I guess I get a short interview process (4 people, supposedly 2 hours) compared to normal (6 hours, 6-10 people).

Not that I know what the job is, mind you. Typically I've gotten that information in the technical phone screen, but there is no technical phone screen this time. Recruiters, even in-house like the guy I'm dealing with, don't generally have details of the jobs they're gathering candidates for. They have a vague description, and a list of skills and things that the hiring manager wants in a candidate. They act as a filter and a go-between for the candidate and the hiring manager and other people involved, scheduling phone calls and interviews, and delivering the results: "Sorry, they felt you weren't a fit for the position", or "We'd like to give you a bunch of money to play Quake four hours a day". They're an important shield for engineering staff who probably don't want to deal with hordes of people, and they de-personalize the process a bit, transforming the "We don't want to hire you for reason X" into something softer, more polite, and less possible to become a lawsuit. (If you doubt the importance of this, The Atlantic Monthly does not. idiots.)

Anyway, I know the job has to do with developing stuff on a Solaris cluster, automating some tasks or other, and that it's a combined development/systems operations position, 60% new development, 40% maintenance of the clusters, which are stable. And that's it. I don't know what languages they use, what they're developing (is it the clustering software? applications that use the clustering software? maintenance and installation packages?), or what the cluster is for. Java? C? C++? Python? It's a surprise!

Sleep well, kids. Never a dull moment: more news as it happens.